Before 1957 Ghana was called the Gold Coast. Portuguese explorers in the 15th century found a vast amount of the precious metal there, but it was English colonizers who dubbed the country the Gold Coast.
Before it was colonized by Western Europeans in the 15th century, the country was called Wagadugu and was part of the Ghana Empire of Western Africa. It was part of the British Empire until 1957 when Ghana gained its independence. It was the first African nation under colonial rule to become an independent country. It reverted back to the area's ancient name because of its fame for wealth and gold trade.